Saturday, November 03, 2007

vélib girls

I've written about innovative bike rental programs in European cities. Vélib, the high-profile, system in Paris continues to thrive. An article in Businessweek, glommed from SpiegelOnline, provides a useful update though not mentioning Montreal's plans for a large-scale bike rental sceme, nor Washington DC's pitifully inadequate trial. (There's information on plans for DC and competing plans for Arlington VA, with a lot of other stuff, here.) One DC blog has a charming little post on how Vélib demand is now exceeding supply in Paris, despite the enormous number of bikes and rental stations and despite its contstant growth.

All that's preamble to the Flickr photos that appear below. I searched them out after reading an entertaining article from Canada's Calgary Herald on how Riding a 'velo' in Paris is tres fashionable. The author, Lisa Pasold, says, "French women ride bicycles in high-heeled boots and miniskirts; they ride bicycles wearing flouncy shifts and platforms, overalls and gladiator sandals -- and that's just what I've noticed this week. Parisians never wear lycra cycling gear. They wouldn't be caught dead in waterproof MEC. (They also don't wear helmets -- with all the cigarette smoke we inhale over here, longevity isn't a big issue.)"

Click images to view full size.

{As you can see, this last lady isn't on a Vélib, though the gent is. Photo credits: all come from a Flickr search for "velib girls"}

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